Put your feet up, lean back and enjoy the gentle rocking of a Brumby rocker as you read about our newest FACE, Anna Brumby. That last name is no coincidence — Anna is part of a chair-making dynasty that has been producing some of the highest quality rocking chairs since 1875! Though Anna was once working hard in the financial industry, she decided to return to her roots and take charge of The Brumby Chair Company. Learn more about Anna, her love of running (everyone needs a break from all that sitting at a chair company) and what makes her one of our favorite Southern FACES!
You represent the fourth generation of Brumbys running the family business. What is the hardest part about working with family? What’s the best part?
The hardest part about working with family members is you have a tendency to think in shorthand because you know each other so well and don’t need to fully communicate your thought process. That’s a bad assumption to make with anyone, so you have to make sure there’s strong communication between all parties.
The best part is that in our family, everyone has a great sense of humor and can be very self-deprecating. We can all laugh at ourselves. It makes for a fun day at work when you really like each other and can laugh as well as respect each other.
The Brumby Chair Company was founded in 1875 in Marietta and has been making quality furniture ever since. What’s the secret to your company’s longevity?
Dedication to the quality of our products and taking care of our employees. When you make business decisions for the right reasons, people tend to gravitate toward that and want to be part of it.
Describe a little about the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into one of your rocking chairs.
From start to finish, there is a great deal of craftsmanship that goes into each Brumby Rocker. We start by using the finest Appalachian red oak logs that are quarter sawn versus straight sawn, so you can see the design of the grain. The back posts, front posts and front rounds have our signature turnings that add to the elegance of our rockers (which you don’t see on other rockers on the market). The seat and backs are woven into a beautiful herringbone pattern using cane from the exterior of the rattan vine that gives it the rounded, glossy exterior golden glow. Finally the frame is finely sanded to remove any coarseness before putting the final finishing to create the color and sleek glossy look of a Brumby Rocker.
Do you have any crazy/interesting stories about the life of one of your chairs or one of its owners?
We had a customer call to get some information on some Brumby Rockers that were originally owned by their grandparents and then their parents. It turned out that he was in litigation with his sibling over who would get the rockers in their parents’ estate. He spent the better part of an hour telling me about all the great family memories they had going back to their grandparents while sitting in their Brumby Rockers, and how his sibling went to their parents’ home and took the Brumby Rockers and refused to give them back. So they took them to court.
What made you change your job in the financial service industry to start work in the family business?
I had always known it was something I wanted to do one day. I think I was just waiting for the right time. After 10 years, I was ready for a change and a new challenge. Running a small, family-owned, manufacturing business in the U.S. … What could be more challenging than that?!
What would you like your legacy to be?
I want to leave things better for the next generation, and if you focus on that, then I think your legacy writes itself.
How do you unwind when the stress of life starts to creep in?
I have to get up and move, and that typically means physical exercise. I walk my dog, run or go to Orange Theory for a workout (it takes your mind off everything).
We heard you were a little obsessed with home décor blogs and interior design as you renovate your own home. What are your favorite Atlanta shops to get great home finds?
DK Galleries on the Marietta Square is where I’ve gotten some beautiful new art for my house. Also, Schumacher at ADAC for fabrics, Peridot for accents, Designer Rug Warehouse for rugs, Englishman’s Fine Furnishings for furniture and Masterpiece Lighting for chandeliers, hardware for doors and cabinets. And of course, a monthly pilgrimage to Scott Antique Markets always yields some good finds.
You’ve been an avid runner since high school. Where’s your favorite place to jog in Atlanta?
I live close to Memorial Park, so I love running there during the week and Chastain Park on the weekends. Also, I grew up running at Kennesaw Mountain in Marietta, so I sometimes bring my running clothes to work to run there at the end of the day.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t be afraid to do something unconventional and take a risk. Often times it produces the greatest rewards.
What are three things you can’t live without, excluding friends, family and faith?
Thank you to Anna Brumby for sharing more about her life, the fascinating history of where she works and what true craftsmanship looks like!
And as always, our deepest appreciation to photographer extraordinaire, CatMax Photography, for today’s lovely shots.
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